Kefir, the elixir of life
Kefir is made from any type of milk, either from cow, sheep or goat after lactic and alcoholic fermentation by adding kefir. These “grains” are cultivations of fungi and lactic acid bacteria and look like cauliflower.
Kefir originates in the Black Sea countries, in particular in the North Ossetia region, between Russia and Georgia. The residents of the Caucasus and the Middle East area have been consuming it for many centuries now. According to the legend, Mohammed gave kefir seeds to Christians and taught them to make kefir milk. Since the late 19th century, scientific studies on its therapeutic and beneficial properties were published. Elie Metchnikoff, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1908, attributed the longevity of the Balkan populations to the abundant consumption of fermented dairy products, such as kefir. In fact, he called the kefir “elixir of life”. Initially, its use has been spread for the treatment of tuberculosis and diseases of the intestines and stomach while its consumption has been increasing over the years.
The name comes from the Turkish word Keyif, which means “feel good” after eating. It has been found to be highly concentrated in probiotics, it is delicious, digestible and has many nutrients. The term probiotic describes foods that contain microorganisms that are beneficial to health. Kefir has a flavor that is very similar to yogurt and aroma reminiscent of sour milk. It can be made to a tasty homemade cheese but it can also be eaten with fruit or honey and cereals.